Things that should be gag but aren’t: a bracelet that zaps you!

Yes there really is such a thing-a bracelet that gives you an electric shock if you’re eating too much. Or possibly just eating at all.

I find this shocking and not because of the zaps you may get when you go to eat. It’s just plain wrong.

We all know that behaviour plays a major role in how we eat. Food can be part of celebratory events but also of sad ones. Eating can be an activity where every bite is savoured but it can also be something that is mindless. Coming into the kitchen when you’re preoccupied, stressed or tired and you see something delectable to eat, it’s easy to simply pop it in your mouth.

Yes mindless eating can be a problem. But wearing a bracelet to shock you into paying attention to what you eat seems like overkill.

Pavlok is a device which you can set up so that when you go to eat, uses hardware that beeps vibrates and zaps you so that you will think about what you’re about to eat. The voltage can range from a mild 50 volts to a pretty significant 450 V – not any fun at all.

Yes, like Pavlov’s dogs.

While the manufacture also suggests its use for other habits such as smoking or sleeping too late, to me as a dietitian, it just seems wrong to zap yourself because you have taken something to eat.

What upsets me even more about this product is that you can set it up so that someone else has access to your zapper. In other words, someone can be watching your eating and zap you because you are about to take something that the other individual doesn’t think you should be consuming.


Talk about control!

How about changing behaviours using positive approaches? There are so many that can be helpful – not keeping tempting options out on the counter or at the front of the cupboard or fridge for mindless eating to occur.

Or maybe eating well and not being hungry so that you’re not as susceptible to munching the first thing you see. Or how about acknowledging that you’re hungry or in need of some eats and making a point of sitting down for a few minutes to relax and refuel?

There are many strategies to use to change habits without using shocks. And what about having kids see this in action on a parent – never mind a parent using it on their youngster in the name of good health. Downloading the app would allow a parent to monitor their kids’ food intake if the parent is not around and then zap them if they didn’t like what the child was doing.

All in the name of love.

Yikes again.

What are your thoughts on a device such as this?

Tags: , ,

Categories: Rosie's Rants

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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